Loveland police officers cleared
District attorney says four cops had “no choice” in fatal shooting.
Four Loveland Police Department officers will not face criminal charges in connection with a June shooting that killed a motorcyclist who fired two shots at them.
Officers Sean McDonald, Stephen Marchio, Geoff Reeves and Matthew Sychla fired their guns after the motorcyclist, Stephen Scott Rich, fired first, according to a letter written by Eighth Judicial District Attorney Clifford E. Riedel to Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer.
“Stephen Rich left the officers no choice but to fire their weapons in selfdefense,” the letter said.
Sychla was on patrol in Loveland at 10:11 p.m. on June 8 when he saw a motorcyclist make an improper turn. Sychla followed the motorcycle and activated his lights after seeing the motorcyclist make several other traffic violations.
The motorcyclist fled, and Sychla called off his pursuit after the motorcyclist ran a red light. Sychla determined a chase would create a public safety risk.
About 13 minutes after Sychla first saw the motorcyclist, a motorist called to report a motorcyclist had struck his car and that he had followed the motorcyclist to a residence. The caller said the motorcyclist was “spooking him out,” the letter said.
The four officers responded to the scene. The officers, the 911 caller and a friend of his all said the motorcyclist, who later was identified as Rich, walked away. Rich then reached behind his back and pulled out a handgun, the letter said.
Rich fired two shots from a Glock semi-automatic pistol, the letter said. The four officers simultaneously returned fire. Footage from a police car’s camera showed that less than two seconds elapsed between Rich’s first shot and the officers returning fire.
“Based upon all of the evidence, I find Stephen Rich unlawfully placed all four officers’ lives at risk,” Riedel wrote. “Additionally, the officers rightfully believed that the lives of the two innocent civilians who had placed the call to police were at risk.”